Scholarly article on topic 'Sustaining Local Community Economy Through Tourism: Melaka UNESCO World Heritage City'

Sustaining Local Community Economy Through Tourism: Melaka UNESCO World Heritage City Academic research paper on "Economics and business"

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Abstract of research paper on Economics and business, author of scientific article — Syakir Amir, Mariana Mohamed Osman, Syahriah Bachok, Mansor Ibrahim

Abstract Tourism has been one of the largest contributors towards Malaysian GDP over the last three decades. In essence, Malaysia generated 1,795,500 employments in 2013 of which some 6.5% of the total employment was created in the tourism sector. The study deals with extraction of tourists’ expenditure in five tourism sectors, accommodation, food and beverages, entertainment, shopping and transportation that lead to direct community benefits. Diary record survey was conducted at three different groups of selected hotels based on stars ratings- 5 & 4 stars hotel; 3,2& 1 stars hotel; and budget hotels. The total number of 1500 survey booklets was distributed, only 1000 surveys were collected. The preliminary findings suggested that tourists spent 64.7% of their expenditure for transportation and only 1.4% for shopping. On average, it was also found that actual expenditure was rated at RM172 against the budgeted amount of RM306 per day. 34.3% of tourists spent were channeled to the local community. This study identifies and assesses Melaka's position as an affordable tourist destination and how tourism indeed contributed to the local population indeed positively promotes the sustenance of and directly benefits their economic well-being.

Academic research paper on topic "Sustaining Local Community Economy Through Tourism: Melaka UNESCO World Heritage City"

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Procedia Environmental Sciences 28 (2015) 443 - 452

The 5th Sustainable Future for Human Security (SustaiN 2014)

Sustaining local community economy through tourism: Melaka

UNESCO world heritage city

Syakir Amira*, Mariana Mohamed Osmana, Syahriah Bachoka, Mansor Ibrahima

aDepartment of Urban and Regional Planning, International Islamic Univesity Malaysia, Jalan Gombak, 53100, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Abstract

Tourism has been one of the largest contributors towards Malaysian GDP over the last three decades. In essence, Malaysia generated 1,795,500 employments in 2013 of which some 6.5% of the total employment was created in the tourism sector. The study deals with extraction of tourists' expenditure in five tourism sectors, accommodation, food and beverages, entertainment, shopping and transportation that lead to direct community benefits. Diary record survey was conducted at three different groups of selected hotels based on stars ratings- 5 & 4 stars hotel; 3,2 & 1 stars hotel; and budget hotels. The total number of 1500 survey booklets was distributed, only 1000 surveys were collected. The preliminary findings suggested that tourists spent 64.7% of their expenditure for transportation and only 1.4% for shopping. On average, it was also found that actual expenditure was rated at RM172 against the budgeted amount of RM306 per day. 34.3% of tourists spent were channeled to the local community. This study identifies and assesses Melaka's position as an affordable tourist destination and how to urism indeed contributed to the local population indeed positively promotes the sustenance of and directly benefits their economic well-being.

© 2015Published byElsevierB.VThisisanopenaccess article under the CC BY-NC-ND license

(http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of Sustain Society

Keywords: Sustainable tourism; tourist expenditure;local economic; Melaka

1. Introduction

Tourism has become an important sector in Malaysia over the last few years. The sector is now a potential area in environmental, social and economic level of government agenda, as it is a significant earning industry to Malaysia.

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +6-017-626-5830 E-mail address: syakirtrav@gmail.com

1878-0296 © 2015 Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license

(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of Sustain Society

doi: 10.1016/j.proenv.2015.07.054

In addition, Malaysia federal and state government has taken a major step in establishing legal and institutional framework to introduce sustainable tourism. A study by Md. Anowar et al. (2013) explained Malaysia has produced development plans with different duration period namely Tenth Malaysia Plan, Economic Transformation Program (ETP), National Tourism Policy, National Physical Plan (NPP), and Local Agenda 21 (LA 21). These development plans were introduced and implemented to promote and strengthen the concept of sustainable tourism in the country through various policies and regulations. In addition, according to the Economic Impact Report 2013 by World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the year 2012 has witnessed Malaysia generated 1,795,500 employments includes direct, indirect, and induced sector in relation to tourism industry. This figure covers 6.5% of total employment in the country. In addition, the total contribution of tourism industry to is RM146.5 billion in 2012. This includes 44.6% from direct contribution, 15.8% from induced contribution while 39.6% from indirect contribution. This figure justifies Malaysia generates large opportunities to the local community involving tourism industry. However, the report by WTTC declares that Malaysia recorded below world average of total contribution of employment in tourism industry (below 1,975,000).

These days, the increase of modern tourism attractions and products and declining of traditional tourism industries has led to the local communities to explore alternative ways to strengthen their economic status (Lepp, 2007; Wang et al., 2010). This allows the local community to involve in other employment sectors especially manufacturing and construction rather than utilize the local resources for tourism purpose. Mehmetoglu (2001) believed that tourism promotes a secure economic benefit to local residents. Consequently, the research on local economic benefits from the tourism activities to promote the sustainable tourism has attracted an increasing number of attentions. The research has extended widely in term of the concepts, mechanisms and models, case studies, policies and regulations to purposely explore the benefits from the tourism. Thus, the aim of this study is to give insight and understanding on existing literature on sustainable tourism in local economic perspective. The study will taking place in world heritage city of Melaka, Malaysia, where tourism strategies and activities have been implemented by the state government. Therefore, this paper comprises two main objectives: (1) to identify the pattern of tourist expenditure and (2) to identify the contribution to the local economic benefits from five relevant sectors.

2. Literature Review

2.1. Sustainable tourism and local economic

In 1994, United Nation Environment Program (UNEP) defined sustainable tourism as tourism development that meets the needs of present tourists and host while it preserves and enhances the opportunities in the future. UNEP (2002) again outlined the basic principles of this concept. First, the principle of environmental sustainability, that offers development and preservation of ecological as well as biological diversity and resources. Secondly, the principle of social sustainability, that offers development and preservation of traditional as well as cultural values and identity of particular community. Lastly, the principle of economic sustainability, that offers development and preservation of local economic growth. Sustainable development is widely discussed and promoted by international organizations and many governments worldwide. This is because the three dimensions of environment, economy and socio-cultural have brought this concept in different practices and perspectives. Simultaneously, Wall (2002) pointed out, this is the only concept that has been much criticized and argued because of the failure and difficulties experienced with the implementation. Many researchers have demonstrated their argument on sustainable concept namely Wheeler (1993), Clarke (1997), Telfer (2002), and Wall (2002). However, Eagles et al (2002) stated their stands by agree with the concept of sustainable development and relate it in the context of tourism. They believed that sustainable tourism can meet the demand of tourists, provide opportunities to the host, preserve the existing resources in particular locations, improve the quality of life while giving bright quality in the future of tourism industry. From here, it leads to the expansion of other alternative concepts in the sustainable tourism field, namely responsible tourism (Spenceley et al., 2002), pro-poor tourism (Goodwin & Francis, 2003), as well as community-based tourism (Mbaiwa, 2004). These concepts have a similar objective of enhancing the positive impacts of tourism development hence reducing the negative problems specifically in three major areas- social, economic and environmental.

This paper presents the idea of local economic benefits in the framework of sustainable tourism. Primarily, World Tourism Organization verified that many countries depend on tourism industry as it offers employment, generates revenues, and provides the infrastructural development to the society. Various studies have been conducted on the involvement of local residents in particular host destination with a focus on the extent to which these local residents are benefited economically from the tourism (Gursoy et al, 2002; Gursoy & Rutherford, 2004; Gursoy & Kendall, 2006; Kaltenborn et al., 2008; Nicholas et al., 2009). The involvement of local community in tourism activities plays a significant role in the sustainable tourism, because their participation either directly or indirectly ensures an increase of economic value themselves. This is supported by Ritchie & Crouch (2005), they claimed that the tourism has the ability to increase the expenditure of tourists, while the host residents should provide them with satisfying, memorable experiences with a profitable way. Dwyer & Kim (2003) suggested the destination competitiveness among the host residents in providing needs to the tourists to increase the real income and enhance the standard living of the destination.

Recently, local economic development approach especially in tourism industry has adopted in Malaysia. It integrates and combines multi-disciplinary approach purposely to reduce the gap between high income and low income community in the country. This is resulted with many government funding and grants programs offered for the local community to actively get involved in tourism activities. Therefore, federal government with the help of state government agencies utilizes the local resources and skills to bring the economic change of the local community hence reduce the gap.

2.2 Study site - Melaka UNESCO World Heritage City

Melaka is one of the fourteen states of Malaysia. It is located in south western coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The area of Melaka is 1,658 square kilometers and it is divided into three districts, namely Melaka Tengah, Alor Gajah and Jasin. It takes about two hours travel by road from Kuala Lumpur to Melaka and approximately three hours travel by road to Singapore. Melaka is a well-known historical state that rich with various tourism destinations since decades ago. In fact, tourism under the services sector recorded as the most important economic sector in the state, contributing 46.6% of GDP.

In attracting the tourist arrival and investors, state government has brought forward a slogan for promotional purpose. The slogan "Visit Melaka Means Visit Malaysia" has launched in early year of 2000. On July 7, 2008, Melaka had been recognized by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a World Heritage City. The city has been seen as a historical and heritage witness of 500 years of trading and cultural exchanges between East and West in the Straits of Melaka. UNESCO is now assisting Melaka to preserve and restore the valuable colonial buildings, squares, and churches left by Portuguese, Dutch and British back in 15th-

Fig. 1. Map of Melaka, Malaysia and surrounding areas

century. After the recognition by UNESCO, Melaka is now becoming the domestic and international tourists' node with recorded the highest number, 13.711 million of tourists in 2012. They successfully attracted 1.366 million of domestic tourists in 2012 as compared to 3.512 million in 2007. In fact, the domestic arrivals grow faster after the UNESCO recognition from 4.857 million in 2007 to 10,199 million in 2012. According to report by the State Tourism Unit (2012), the top five countries of tourist arrivals are China with 652,002 tourists followed by Singapore (584,088), Indonesia (517,941), Taiwan (356,409) and Japan (123,930).

As a state covering a small geographical area, Melaka has many heritage products including tangible sites and intangible cultural values. As a state that promotes heritage tourism, Melaka has a potential to attract more visitors as visiting historic and cultural sites as one of the most popular tourist activities in recent years. Thus, heritage tourism is one of the fasters growing niche market segments in travel industry. According to McGeown (2003) with their research in Europe continent, visitors that engage in heritage and cultural activities in host destinations spend more and stay longer. This is supported by Johnston (2004), the young generation recorded the highest number visiting historical destination that offered authentic experience. Melaka has rich cultural and heritage assets that are more easily to create more opportunities, not only for the context of tourism perspective but for local community benefits.

3. Methodology

Two popular methods have been used in most of the tourism research in collecting and identifying the expenditure of tourists in particular destination. They are exit interviews and daily expenditure records during the visit. Exit interviews had been implemented in early 60s, in which tourists will recall their spending in particular tourism destination or events and record the expenditure. However, Howard et al. (1991), Frechtling (1994), and Faulkner & Raybould (1995) found that many visitors had difficulties to recall their activities with the expenditure. This is due to the error or recall bias in recording the expenditure. Based on Rylander et al. (1995), the errors occur when the complexity of transactions and the length of time between the visit and interview increase. Frechtling (1994) also added it is caused by memory decay. Thus, in order to reduce and eliminate the error, previous researchers have introduced diary records survey in which daily activities and expenditure will be recorded during their stay. The diary requires the respondents to weigh and record all expenses includes their transportation fees, food and drinks bills, accommodation charges, and many more during the diary period. Previous researches (Howard et al., 1991; Rylander et al., 1995) have used this method to identify the expenditure of an event, they provided the survey in first day and mailed back to the research team when the visit is completed.

The diary record survey for this study employs 5 pages booklet-style survey instrument. The tourists were asked to report their expenditure in five spending categories namely (1) food and beverages, (2) transportation, (3) accommodation, (4) shopping and (5) entertainment. They were reported their expenditure depending on how many days they spent in Melaka. A total of 1500 diary record booklets for 750 domestic tourists and 750 international tourists were evenly distributed in selected hotels based on stars ranking in Melaka. The booklets were distributed to the respondents during their hotel check-in. After completion, they would return the booklets to the receptionist during check-out. However, at the end of the collection period, total amount of 1000 diary record booklets were successfully collected among domestic and international. The survey was administered from March 2014 to April 2014. It includes 6 weekdays, 6 weekends. It was not difficult to monitor and collect the respondents' diary record booklets because the period was at the peak of the Malaysia holiday season due to school break.

4. Analysis and results

4.1 Tourists' profiles

Table 1. Profile of respondents

Variables

Components

Frequencies

International

Domestic

o o Origins

£ JS Gender

Marital status

Occupation

Education level

Purpose visit

First visit?

Number visiting (adult)

Number visiting (children)

Returning Melaka within 2 years?

Female 135 182

11-20 34 5

21-30 266 174

31-40 183 172

41-50 29 64

51-60 10 54

61-70 3 6

Single 288 226

Married 233 230

Widowed 1 5

Divorced/ separated 3 14

Student 95 28

Government servant 140 84

Private 194 280

Pensioner 6 33

Self-employed 90 46

Unemployed 0 4

SPM/ O-level 54 8

STPM/Matriculation/ A-Level 3 4

Certificate 41 21

Diploma 127 39

Bachelor degree 240 314

Master degree 56 71

PhD 4 17

Holiday 455 374

Visit family 15 12

Business 35 29

Shopping 6 13

Education trip 12 13

Conference, seminar 1 15

Health treatment 1 12

Yes 81 369

No 444 106

1 273 187

2 216 201

3 19 54

4 9 20

0 407 444

1 51 6

2 39 18

3 13 6

4 12 1

Yes 522 417

Table 1 above shows respondents' socio-demographic and travel characteristics. Total of 525 respondents are domestic tourists and 475 respondents are foreigners. The majority of the respondents were male (68.3%), in their 21-30 range of age (44%). 28.8% of local tourists are single while 23% of international tourists are married. Both domestic and international are private employee (47.4%) with qualification of bachelor degree (55.4%). This profile pattern indicates clearly that the young single profession is the highest potential market in Melaka. Thus, the provision of tourism activities as well as basic facilities such as accommodation and entertainment in Melaka needs to be concentrated in such market.

Moreover, the majority of respondents visited Melaka for holiday. The respondents were domestic (45.5%) and international (37.4%). 44.4% of domestic tourists are not first-time visitors, while 36.9% of international tourists are first-time visitors. The study has identified health treatment for purpose of visiting Melaka among international tourist, as a new finding and new segment of potential market. It needs to be explored and widely promoted by the state government. The traveling profile above highlights the domestic tourist are travelling individually (27.3%), while the international tourist are more likely traveling with partner (20.1% ). 52.2 % of domestic and 41.7% of international tourists suggest will come back to Melaka as Melaka provides a wide range of tourism activities and products hence it delivers a high satisfaction to the visitors.

4.1 Tourist expenditure pattern

Table 2. Tourist expenditure pattern in Melaka

Tourism Sector Total Expenditure (RM) Percentage (%)

Accommodation RM 307 859.50 64.7%

Food and beverages RM 111 393.40 23.4%

Transportation RM 6 995.40 1.5%

Entertainment (Cultural & RM 9 900.50 2.0%

recreational)

Shopping RM 39 954.90 8.4%

Total RM 476 103.70 100%

Table 2 above presents the tourist expenditure pattern among domestic and international tourist in Melaka. Accommodation sector recorded 64.7% from total tourist expenditure hence becomes the major spending as compared to other sectors. It is not surprising to learn that accommodation sector makes up the biggest percentage in the travel pattern bill since it is a necessity for tourist. In fact, the variety of choices in accommodation facilities in Melaka catering various needs of tourism demand market, has resulted tourists spent more nights in Melaka. Food and beverages sector contributes second highest consumption with a huge difference gap from accommodation expenditure. As a food paradise destination, Melaka offers different cuisine from the Malay, Chinese, Indian, Nyonya and Portuguese. Transportation and entertainment recorded 1.5% and 2.0% respectively from the total expenditure. However, the lowest percentage recorded by shopping expenditure among tourists is extremely surprise findings. It is contrast with the percentage in national tourist expenditure pattern in 2013, as shopping recorded 30% from total expenditure and placed as a second most consumed sector in tourism activities.

Table 3: Paired Sample T-test of Total expenditure (budget)&Total expenditure (actual) per day

Mean N Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean

Expenditure (actual) per day Pair 1 Expenditure (budget) per day 171.6794 305.9668 993 993 99.70790 304.65925 3.16413 9.66807

Table 4: Paired Sample T-test of Total expenditure (budget)&Total expenditure (actual) per day

Paired Differences

Mean Std. Std. 95% Confidence Interval Sig.

Deviation ErrorMean of the Difference t df (2-tailed)

Lower Upper

Expenditure (actual)

per day - -134.28736 293.38199 9.31020 -152.55730 -116.01742 -14.424 992 .000 Pair 1 Expenditure (budget) per day

Table 3 and 4 above show a paired sample t-test. It was conducted to evaluate whether the actual expenditure is under expected budget. The variables involved are total expenditure per day and budget expenditure per day. The mean score of total budget among tourists is higher than the mean score of total expenditure (refer to table). The result indicated that the mean for actual expenditure (M = 171.68, SD = 99.7) was significantly lower than the mean for budget (M = 305.97, SD= 304.65), t (992) = 14.42, p = .00 at .05 level a level 2-tails. Therefore, the actual expenditure (RM172.00) among tourists in Melaka is below than their expenditure budget (RM306.00).

4.2 Local economic benefits

Table 5: The linkages of tourist expenditure (transportation)

Components Total expenditure (RM) Total expenditure (%)

Public bus RM 129.40 1.8

Transportation Taxi RM 2 164.00 30.9

Trishaw_RM 4 732.00_676_

Total RM 69 95.40 100.0

Table 6: The linkages of tourist expenditure (shopping)

Components

Total expenditure (RM)

Shopping

Shopping mall Local vendors

RM 7 191.90 RM 32 763.00

RM 39 954.90

Total expenditure (%)

18.0 82.0

Table 7: The linkages of tourist expenditure (food and beverages)

Components

Total expenditure (RM)

Food and beverages

Fast food restaurant & Hotel RM 15 595.10 Café

Restaurant & cafe RM 69 063.90

Hawker, warong& local food RM 26 734.40 stall

RM 111 393.40

Total expenditure (%)

62.0 24.0

Table 8: The linkages of tourist expenditure (entertainment)

Components

Total expenditure (RM)

Entertainment

State government cooperation RM 9 770.50 Locally owned entertainment RM 130.00 business

RM 9 900.50

Total expenditure (%)

98.7 1.3

Table 9: The linkages of tourist expenditure (accommodation)

Components Total expenditure (RM) Total expenditure (%) Star ranked hotel RM 144 694.50 47.0 Accommodation Budget hotel (locally owned)_RM 163 165.00_53.0

RM 307 859.50

Tables above show the linkages of tourist expenditure and the contribution to the Melaka local economic. Transportation sector in table 4 shows the local community is involved actively in the transportation business. The 67.7% and 30.9% of trishaw and taxi expenses from the tourists respectively recorded direct contribution to the local economic. Most of the trishaw and taxi owners are among local Malays living in Melaka Town area. The unique and low price offered has made Melaka trishaw become one of the highest transportation demand in the city. Shopping sector in table 5 shows a domination of locally owned and managed shopping/souvenirs vendors. 82% from total expenditure among tourists from shopping expenses shows the demand of authentic local products from local vendors are extremely high, as compared to the international brands products offered in many outlets in Melaka. According to the diary records booklets, most of the tourists concentrate in the area Melaka Jonker Street for shopping purpose that offers numerous choices of local products and souvenirs.

On the contrary, food and beverages sector in table 7 shows only 24% from tourists' total expenditure is channeled to the locally owned food businesses such as warong and local food hawkers. Most of the food hawkers and stalls in Melaka are managed by the local Malays and Chinese. Similarly, entertainment sector as presented in table 8, shows only 1.3% from tourists total expenditure is channeled to the locally managed entertainment cultural and recreational activities. Most of the entertainment activities are managed by the state government such as river cruise, cultural performances by state government office's dancers and many more. Moreover, accommodation sector in table 9 shows 53% from tourists' total expenditure is channeled directly to the locally owned budget hotel. Majority of the budget hotel is owned by the local community especially local Chinese and Malays. However, the contribution percentage to the profit of major multinational hotel is not much difference compared to the locally owned hotels, it is 47% from total expenditure of tourists. It shows that the local budget accommodation receive a tough competition among international and franchise hotels.

Table 10: The linkages of tourist expenditure (all sectors)

Tourism Sectors Components Total expenditure (RM) Total expenditure (%)

Transportation Public bus RM 129.40 0.0

Taxi RM 2 164.00 0.5

Trishaw RM 4 732.00 1.0

Shopping Shopping mall RM 7 191.90 1.5

Hawkers RM 32 763.00 6.9

Food and beverages Fast food restaurant & Hotel Café RM 15 595.10 3.3

Restaurant & café, Shopping malls' food RM 69 063.90 14.4 court and food franchisee outlet

Hawker, warong& local food stall RM 26 734.40 5.6

Entertainment State. government cooperation RM 9 770.50 2.1

Locally owned business RM 130.00 0.0

Accommodation Star ranked hotel RM 144 694.50 30.4

Budget hotel (locally owned)_RM 163 165.00_34.3_

Total RM 476 133.70 100%

However, another perspective is observed on local economic benefits in Melaka as presented in table 10 above, most of the locally owned businesses received small economic benefits from the tourist expenditure in Melaka city. It is only 48.3% recorded from the accumulation of budget hotel business (34.3%), locally owned entertainment business (0%), hawkers and local food stalls (5.6%), local shopping vendors (6.9%) as well as local transportation modes (1.5%) that have spent by the tourists in Melaka. These findings clearly verify that Melaka community has yet received economic benefits directly from the tourism activities in the stateg.

5. Discussion

This study reveals some interesting findings. The tourists tented to spend less than their expectation. Contrary with several research, the actual expenditure is more than expected budget especially shopping expenses. In fact, the

tourist expenditure pattern is different from the tourism market of other countries. Expenditure pattern in Singapore (Singapore tourism board, 2013) and Canada (Hawai'i tourism authority, 2013) recorded a high consumption on shopping expenses. This shows the socio-demographic variables found to be the most influencing factor in explaining the pattern. The young single professional has become the most visited group in Melaka and majority visit the city for leisure and holiday, few of them for shopping purpose. The socio-demographic and behavior including income, education, occupation, as well as seasonality has affected the tourism benefit linkage to the local community. It is supported by the findings from previous studies (Kim & Hong, 1995; Kim & Qu, 2002; Selier et al., 2002; Dowanward & Lumsdin, 2004; Jang et al., 2004) that claimed the travel expenditure behavior is varied among different destinations although in a same locality, hence gives the different effect to the residents.

Local economic and tourism are difficult to separate with the small business firms. It is a need for development strategies, policies and physical assistance from the state government to help stimulate the progress of small businesses among local community. The policies should include location and infrastructure, training, financial support and others. The state government need to discover the potential tourism resources includes potential tourism products and services from remote areas in Melaka, and bring forward to be accessed by the tourist. For instance, the area of Bachang, Tanjung Kling, and Masjid Tanah are well known among the local community for having a great traditional village that has a potential to develop as homestay.

The tourism marketing by the state government as well as non-governmental organization should focus and emphasize on community benefits as a mean for increase the visitation in that particular locally owned attractions and products. Roe et al. (2002) believed that this will increase the economic sustainability especially to the community. More traditional travel tour offered by travel agencies should continue to play the initiative marketing strategy, as Melaka rich of culture and arts that have seen as a heritage witness of 500 years of trading exchanges between East and West in the Straits of Melaka. The local Malay homestay in certain remote area in Melaka should be greatly promoted. Since the homestay is a non-commercialized product, as compared to hotel and resort, the state government should provide the capacity to the tour agents and operators to have a stable and regular deal with the village homestay operators, as they are the key avenues for sales. Moreover, the local food hawkers that provide a great deal of price and taste should be bringing forward to the tourists. Most of the local hawkers are only reached by the local community of Melaka. Kampung Lapan, Bachang, Ujong Pasir are examples of local food hubs among local community that have not been explored by the tourists. Thus, a great marketing for local community tourist businesses should be enhanced to provide truly sustainable benefits to the community.

6. Conclusion

This paper has introduced, defined and identified the concept of sustainable tourism through local economic benefits dimensions. This study is one of few studies to explore the expenditure pattern of domestic and international tourists. With the data and results, Melaka needs to understand who the heavy spenders are and which sector spent the most among tourists, hence formulate as part of potential strategies for a higher profits. The different needs and demands from the tourists have transformed Melaka as a competitive tourism destination among tourism players. The failure to utilize the competitiveness for the economic benefits of their local community, has proven that high record of tourists number does not mean that local community would actually benefit from the tourism development. As a result, how can sustainable tourism be addressed and implemented successfully without appreciating the role and benefited the economics of local community businesses?

A suggestion of future research needs to be carried out to relate the tourists expenditure and local community benefits in Melaka to other variables such as flight and tour expenses, tourism services includes massage and translator. In fact, study on expenditure pattern between package and non-package tourist in Melaka also deserves further research efforts. The more recent data gathered on various perspectives of local economic benefits from tourism activities, will produce a interesting and strong structural relationship for the increment of tourist expenditure that create Melaka as a profitable and sustainable state in Malaysia.

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